Posted in: Politics

Hurricane Sandy Relief: ‘Pork’ Spending Stalls Passage

hurricane sandy treasurer

Hurricane Sandy relief bill “pork” complaints is reportedly a sticking point fiscally conservative lawmakers. The $27 billion relief legislation crafted to offer Super Storm Sandy disaster aid will reportedly be stalled until after the Congressional session, which ends on Wednesday, resumes.

Republican Representative Darrell Issa had this to say about the spending initiatives in the Hurricane Sandy relief bill:

“Your two senators packed this with pork. They had the opportunity to have a $27 to $30 billion dollar legit relief packages, packed it with pork, then dared us not to vote for it.”

Representative Issa was referring to New York Senators Kristen Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer. Some of the disputed items in the Super Storm Sandy disaster aid bill include a $150 million in funding for Alaskan fisheries. The bill would also have reportedly increased spending to the national flood insurance program, which is expected to max out its borrowing limit next week. If the flood insurance program cannot borrow more money, it will reportedly only be able to pay 12,000 of the estimated 139,000 of the Hurricane Sandy related claims, according to The Atlantic Wire.

The Bennington Banner notes multiple “pet projects” which have caused angst among Republican lawmakers who likely want to help Hurricane Sandy victims. Some of the disputed hurricane relief bill pork measures in $336 million in Amtrak expenses and $2 million in taxpayer funds to repair a room on one of the Smithsonian buildings in Washington D.C.

The publication also reports that the Super Storm Sandy relief legislation also includes $8 million to purchase new vehicles for federal agencies. A total of $4 million for repairs to the Kennedy Space Center were also added to the disaster relief bill.

Do you think that bills which will spend taxpayer money should be specific to only one topic to prevent pork from delaying passage and pushing forward pet projects?

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Comments

42 Responses to “Hurricane Sandy Relief: ‘Pork’ Spending Stalls Passage”

  1. Jennifer Holmes

    WEll, isn't this special! Inside the Sandy Relief Fund, there is quite a lot of money going out such as $150 million for Alaskan Fisheries (?), $8 million to fund new government vehicles, $4 million to the Kennedy Space Center and there is more. Meanwhile, Sandy Victims will be lucky if they see the full funding of their section of the package. Welcome to Obama land.

  2. Merl Humphrey

    Why don't the politicians direct their outrage toward the members that added their pork projects to the bill. It's time to name those members and let them take the blame.

  3. Greg Jones

    Most pork additions are done by other congressman. The article above says New York Senators Kristen Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer were the ones to add it, but as it usually goes adding pork is a 'you scratch my back, i'll scratch yours (or give the bill yes vote)'. Borderline extortion, and often hard to know who's stupid ideas they really are. I sort of doubt Obama had anything to do with the porking on this Sandy relief bill, since he's repeatedly threatened to veto bills with earmarks. Then again, in 2009 when Congress added $7.7 billion in pork to the stimulus bill, he signed it. After that, most the earmarks during his terms were split on both sides of the aisle from stats I've seen. Unless you count the "Use it or Lose It" program where he directed ~$500 mil in previously earmarked funds sitting on the shelf, to go back to the states to repair 'shovel-ready' infrastructure and construction jobs.

  4. Anonymous

    Cut the pork and, please, pretty please, get rid of all the politicians….Money for fisheries in Alaska? Repairs to the Kennedy Space Center? Obviously the care of these so called 'public servants' for the victims of Sandy is at best NILL! Just their own skin is what is important to them!

  5. Bill Shadel

    politicians hate the pork that does not help them get re-elected, plain and simple. folks, the dollars in the bill are short of what NJ, NY, and Conn requested. Some in Congress seem to be saying, let's give them less than half of what they need. They said nothing when the states' request came in – why? It was fine until it became a request from the President, so they stall bc they don't like him? Federal vehicles were destroyed by the storm – perhaps that's what's included in this? DC – where the Smithsonian is – was also hit by the storm. Is the line item in here to repair that? Amtrak – like all the public transit on the east coast – was hit by the storm. How is repair of that pork? AK fisheries does seem a bit far afield to say the least, but might it be to help offset the loss in fish (food for Americans) from the east coast? Think before jumping on the bandwagon.

  6. Floyd Wilson

    Jennifer Holmes You are hysterical. I am sure you don't understand how government works but Obama does not write any legislation in the House of Representatives. The house of representatives is led by the Republican party so if you need to know who allows the pork and refuses to call a vote for it you need to look no further than the drunken oompa loompa John Boehner.

  7. Erik R. Broderdorf

    Was reading that earlier. Dem's add pork, Republicans don't vote for it, so Republicans are evil.

  8. Ben Levy

    This was a Senate bill, Floyd. Yes, I know bills of spending are supposed to originate in the House. Technicality. The Senate bill would be copied by the House, so in approving the Senate bill the House is technically introducing its own. But the bill was designed in the Senate. So on this one, Reid's your drunken Oompa Loompa.
    And Jennifer didn't credit Obama with writing it, btw. Merely with "Obamaland", which is an apt name for a government in which government bills are more or less vehicles to pass stacks of cash to friends, in the guise of public service. It's gone on for centuries, but lately… well, it's the Chicago way.

  9. Ruth Powers

    Floyd Wilson, apparently you know very little yourself , as the senate placed the pork in the bill, so for the house to take that pork out of the bill they would have to pass another bill and send it back to the senate, which had already been sent home by none other that the leader od the senate harry reid, you know the guy that hasn't had a vote on a budget since he became leader of the senate the guy who has had a bill for 7 months on his desk that could have avoided the fiscal cliff but he didn't ant to bring that up fora vote either

  10. Jerry Bookout

    Sandra K. Hawkins ,So that means we should just keep doing it and you wonder why we are in trouble? How much of it do you think is borrowed sweetie!

  11. Jerry Bookout

    Bill, than let them stand on their own merits , if they have to follow something else to get pased then it seems to be a snow job just to pay off people. Do you know feds lost cars not covered by insurance or is this the cost of buying all those worthless volts from GM they promised to buy,
    Let see the damage from the Smithsonian this storm was only a level 2 at best and they are mile from the cost.2 million for a room?Sound more like union payback!
    Amtrak is always loosing money , present the cost on it that is part of the storm and
    let it stand on it's own. I bet it not for the storm but to keep a dying horse from failing from those unions buddies benefits.
    If Alaska needs to have a fishery which is already covered in fees from fishing again present it and were exactly the money will be used and the benefit than we will see if we have it.

  12. Jerry Bookout

    We want even talk about the millions for Kennedy space center and heaven for bid that we have any democrats who know how to do a budget and add these cost into them.

  13. Nikki Oldaker

    Different disaster – same problems with corrupt politicians trying to rob the taxpayers blind…How about a new rule – no more sticking in amendments for money or laws not related to original bill.

  14. Bill Shadel

    @Jerry – good points you make, all of them. and i don't know that you're wrong, but we don't know if you're right either. which is my point – we need to know what and why before jumping into the fray blindly. One thing I would disagree with is that storm-related damage normally falls under a single bill, so anything that qualifies for Sandy should also be under one bill, not argued ad nauseum by the hypocritical idiots in the House.

  15. Anna Sharp

    Odd John Boehner did not want to vote for the mess and the vote on it was delayed. But there is 9 billion dollars being decided tomorrow for Sand Relief and then 50 billion more in two weeks if my memory serves me well. At anyrate I am glad the emotions of the event was not weighed in as much as intellect was. This was a decision of not emotion but correct thinking. Either its for the VICTIMS of Hurricane Sandy and what it DESTROYED or not!

  16. Carol Ottinger

    No one can simply add whatever pork they want to add. It has to be brought up on the floor and voted on. So who voted to add it to the relief package?

  17. Carol Ottinger

    Let's see now……during the stimulus there was Puerto Rican Rum, sheep shearing, wood arrows, NSCAR and numerous others.

  18. Carol Ottinger

    Blame it on the ones that voted for it and added it to the Bill. You are not free to do that all by yourself.

  19. Carol Ottinger

    If they did not like the Bill, no matter who added the pork, it should have been dealt with. Not throw it on the desk and do nothing with it for 6 weeks. Boehner should have come up with a Bill that would pass and pass right away. They have no problem amending every other bill that lands on their desk. Apparently Boehner has a hard time doing two things at once. Guess he was so busy with his 1 hour of meetings each day over the fiscal cliff, he totally ignored the plight of others.

  20. Darby A Quinn

    The Democrat controlled senate passed the bill with all the pork and sent it to the house.

  21. Sandy Vines

    Carol, the ones that voted on this pork laden bill was Harry Reid and the rest of the Senate democrats. 62 to 32. They just passed the bill last Friday night so the House probably did not get it till Saturday. So now the House is going to write their own version by carving it into two parts. One for about $9B that the CBO said was needed for 2013 and another approximately $24B for 2014 and 2015.

  22. Roger Martin

    Floyd Wilson : Apparently reading comprehension skills aren't all that necessary at Lehigh University. Two Democratic senators, Chuck Schumer and Kristin Giilibrand added the pork this time and the Democratically Senate passed the bill. Your last sentence "who allows the pork and refuses to call a vote for it" contradicts itself. I suppose writing skills aren't that important at Lehigh U. either.

  23. Corey Yates

    Until we know who added the pork it is hard to comment. Since Alaska is deep red, it would seem like it was conservatives who did it.

  24. Ken Stringer

    Not only the pork. Lets cut out some of the foreign aid. Most of those countries hate us anyway. Our nation doesn't have a revnue problem. It has a spending problem. Democrats– They want to raise taxes and cut spending on the American people, but no one says any thing about waste on foreign aid.

  25. Suzanne Genow

    PLEASE DON'T act like Rep's never added any PORK to bills when they wanted something when DUBYA was Prez. GET FRIGGIN REAL…..lol.

  26. Suzanne Genow

    @Jennifer Holmes Well…you're quite uneducated as to how the US gov't works….Pres. Obama has nothing to do with writing the bills……Hey Honey Boo-Boo…go back to school.

  27. Matt Jarrett

    The Democrat controlled senate passed the bill with all the pork and sent it to the house. Looks like its YOU who doesn't understand how government works.

  28. Marsha Marzano

    Lordy be. The money should call precisely where it is needed. There should be no song and dance around it.

  29. Gramma Kaye

    I live in New Jersey. I was impacted by Hurricane Sandy. I would NOT have voted in favor of that bill, due to the ridiculous amount of pork included. What were they thinking? Oh wait, they weren't thinking, they were just salivating at the opportunity to satiate their greed. :-/